I hate having to declare jihad on a person or company, but this company deserves it much more than any other company that I’ve declared jihad on. It is almost as if this company reads my website and was striving to be at the top of the jihad list. This company must’ve had a boardroom meeting and invited all of their most annoying employees in the tri-state area. There is no doubt in my mind that this company hired the most annoying people in the world, like that 7 year old kid who was sitting behind me on my American Airlines flight from New York to Florida who wouldn’t stop kicking the back of the chair with his rain boots, or the slow people who happen to drive parallel to each other at the same slow speed, blocking every lane on the road when I’m in a rush. They are all on the staff of this company. No doubt.
Today, I hereby declare [tentative] Jihad on the Ford Motor company, Jaguar division.
Back story: Both my dad and my sister own Lexuses and for various reasons their vehicles had to be serviced two weeks ago. When we went to drop off the vehicles, Lexus had complementary valet service that met you at the gate and parked your car for you to give you peace of mind as you enter into the plush service area and enjoy a warm bagel and coffee. If you choose not to wait for your car to be repaired, they give you your choice of Lexus vehicles (with Lexus## license plates) to use as a loaner. When they’re done servicing your car, they detail the exterior of your car so that it’s clean enough to lick…if that’s your thing.
I made the mistake of assuming that the Jaguar Company had a level of service that would be comparable to Lexus’. I’ve never made a bigger mistake in my life, including that time when I was 4 and urinated on an exposed electrical cable. Ouch.
I called Jaguar and a nice young lady answered the phone. I explained that I needed service and went down the list of minor things that didn’t quite work right with the car. Afterwards, she asked me for the last 8 digits of my vin number, but since I didn’t have that information immediately available, I had to call them back. Two hours later, I called back to complete the appointment and when the same young woman said “we have no record of you ever calling.”
I went down the list of minor things that didn’t work quite right again and then gave her the last 8 digits of my vin number. She asked me when I would like to come in and I replied, “this Thursday,” to which she responded “April 15th is our earliest date.” A WHOLE MONTH LATER. What if my wheel fell off? I wouldn’t be able to drive until a month later?!
I booked the appointment since I’m a somewhat patient man. Out of curiosity, I asked for the simplest of requests in the history of simple requests. I didn’t ask for valet service, I didn’t ask for a plush waiting room with warm bagels, I didn’t ask for my car to be detailed, I didn’t ask for a loaner; all I asked for was a ride. I didn’t care if they gave me $2.50 and told me to take the bus. I didn’t care if the young lady’s brother rode me on the back of his bicycle. I didn’t care if they handed me a razor scooter and told me to scoot my way home. Just give me something. Her response, “No.”
I hung up the phone and arranged for my mom to drive me back home on the day of the appointment. About an hour later, I received a call from the woman calling to reschedule my appointment to May, which is two months later.
I cancelled my appointment and called up the Jaguar dealership where the car was purchased. I surely expected a higher level of quality from them, but knew that I wasn’t going to receive it when I spoke to the receptionist on the phone.
Her: Hello, (name witheld) Jaguar. This is (name witheld) speaking, how may I help you.
Me: Hello, I’m calling to make a service appointment
Her: No you aint!
Her: Why you callin to cancel?
Me: No…I wanna make an appointment
Her: Ohhhh, aight
she gets professional sounding again
Her: What seems to be wrong with the car?
I go down the list of the minor things wrong, which ranged from an extra sensitive rearview mirror to a rain sensor that needed to be cleaned or something.
Her: DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAG!! When you wanna come in?
Me: Tomorrow morning around 7.
Her: ha HAAAAAAA! Aight.
she gets professional sounding again
Her: Okay sir, have a nice day.
This would’ve been cool if it was Ol’ Rasheeda from da block, but I was on a mission to get Lexus quality service.
Next morning, I drove up to the Jaguar dealership to drop off the car. Their waiting room looked like an Exxon gas station’s bathroom at a truck stop. I stood there and could’ve sworn that I saw syphilis walk past me. I would’ve traded my cell phone for a bottle of Purell hand sanitizer.
I walked up to the counter and said “I have an appointment. I’m here to drop off a car for service.” The guy ran the Vin number through the system and said “okay, but you don’t have a warranty on the car.” I explained that the car was only a few years old and had to have a warranty, but he wasn’t having it. Then I remembered about the platinum super ultra plutonium warranty upgrade that was purchased when the car was new. He said that he needed evidence to support this. One problem: that evidence was in my desk drawer at home.
I left there, drove home (40 minutes away) and drove back with the evidence. He said “okay, but we’ll have to charge you a $100 deductible for the repairs, then a diagnostic fee of $50 to check the mirror and $100 to check the motor, and $45 to wiggle this, and $82 to jiggle that, and more charges may arise”. I still kept my cool. I showed him the details of the warranty where it said that I wouldn’t have to pay anything. After my whole spiel, he said one word… “nope.” Okay. Now I’m getting mad. I started arguing about the car and might’ve slipped in “your dog has rabies” somewhere in there. Eventually, he said “okay” and had he had a transporter drive the car to the service area. He said “sir, all of these repairs seem to be covered under the warranty, but if they’re not covered, you’ll have to pay the diagnostic fee for us to discover the problem.” “So I can come back and you can tell me that I owe $800?” “The fees shouldn’t be that high, but in theory…yes.”
I like to test my chances every now and then, so after some more arguing I took the receipt over to the service rental counter to get a car to drive home. I handed them the receipt and they said “your car will be in front shortly.” All of a sudden, I see a “3rd grader vomit” green Ford Festiva turn the corner. That was supposed to be my car.
I walked back to the service counter and said “I want back my car.” The service guy made a call and had his employee bring back the car. As I waited for the car outside, I saw the guy driving down the street with the seat reclined and the windows down (in 30 degree weather), acting as if it was his car. I took the car and drove home, vowing that if I ever had to buy a new car, it would definitely be a Lexus…if only for the warm bagels.
Note: NONE of this story was embellishment in the least. Feel free to verify.
Note 2: Ford/Jaguar can still redeem themselves, which is why this is a tentative jihad.